Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gushing: the Spurting Story!

Yep, I'm going to be making water jokes with the pictures the whole time.

Gushing:  the Spurting Story!
 (Originally published in Sass Magazine)

            When I received a message about this, I honestly didn’t know much beyond the brief mention of “female ejaculate” in the first season of The L-Word (I love Dana!). The original message, and I’ll paraphrase here to protect the gusher, stated that she’d done this off and on in the past, but hadn’t done so yet with her girlfriend until one fateful night…apparently her girlfriend of two-ish months was not exactly into it, which I think is silly considering she caused it.
            Before we delve into the slippery and wet of the issue, there should probably be a history lesson (don’t go skipping through the history to get to the sex stuff—remember what the subject matter is—it’s all sex stuff). The existence of gushing or female ejaculation has been debated and it’s kind of odd who falls out on each side. A huge swath of the women’s lib movement/Gloria Steinam feminists dismissthe existence of gushing as pure fantasy, more specifically, pure malefantasy. If this made you shake your head in wonder, don’t worry, you’re not alone; I completely didn’t follow this when I read it either. Granted, my knowledge of straight male fantasies is about as plentiful as my knowledge of skyscraper construction:  I’ve seen them from the outside and have been in a few, but I have no idea how or why they’re made nor do I care to learn. Still, I don’t for an instant believe the entirety of female ejaculation was completely imagined, disseminated, and conjured into mythical existence by straight male fantasy. Other people have dismissed it as urine…that is apparently also completely false.
Aren't we glad it's NOT urine?
             Scientists of the vaginal, anatomical, and evolutionary bent have theorized that the g-spot is actually analogous to the prostate in what tissues each are made up of in the same way the clit is made up of a lot of the same structures as the penis. The g-spot and the prostate apparently function like valves. Gushing is not urine; this has been scientifically shown again and again by chemically testing what is actually in the liquid, and it isn’t urea (the protein base compound found in urine). To get down to the really chemically-analytical explanation, gushing seems to be the base liquid that semen would be added to in male ejaculate.
            Now that we know it isn’t a myth constructed by the straight male fantasy machine and it isn’t errant urine, let’s talk about why and how it happens. The answer, in a nutshell, is nobody really knows. I put it out to friends, lesbians, straights, bisexuals, stone-butches, super-femmes, and even gender ambiguous with some interesting, but largely conflicting reports. A lot of internet research said g-spot stimulation was the key, but then a friend of mine said she does it nearly every time she climaxes and she only climaxes through clitoral stimulation. I asked around and found a few other women who have gushed after clit-climaxes. At this point, it was less about the original question—which I do have an answer for, bear with me—I just wanted to unravel the mystery of gushing for myself.
As wet as you're likely to get if you use a dental dam--seriously, safe sex, ladies.
             I started eliciting advice on how to do it. Relaxing and letting go was something I was told, which, if true, would explain why I never had since I tense up like I’m undergoing electric-shock when I orgasm. Intensity was also apparently important; darn, poor me in researching this part. Armed with my two pieces of widely agreed upon information, I brought the quandary to my girlfriend. She told me she didn’t want to do it, wasn’t interested in making me do it, didn’t want me to do it in front of her, and if I was going to test it on my own, lay down a towel so I don’t make a mess on the off chance I do manage to make it happen. This really did demonstrate an element of the potentially off-putting aspects of the act. Before I could actually test whether or not I was able to gush, I had to know how common this reaction was.
            After asking a wide-range of people, I got an equally wide-range of answers, and they really didn’t seem to follow any helpful trends. Some lesbians loved it. Several butches I asked thought of it as ejaculating and really enjoyed the masculinity of that; other butches saw it as a badge of honor to make a femme gush. Many femmes agreed that they’d done it with a variety of reactions, but most didn’t really see it as masculine. Straight men I asked were almost completely split:  some liked it, some hated it, some had never seen it outside of porn and had no idea if it was real or not. Surprisingly, the two groups with a consensus were bisexual women, who didn’t seem to care one way or the other, and gay men who categorically thought it was creepy and several told me they thought vaginas had teeth in them (just kidding boys…but not really). Gay men aside, it really does seem to be entirely personal preference.
            Now let me state here, I did all due-diligence when it came to testing this for myself. I won’t get into the grittier of the extremely gritty details, but let’s just say, no stone of masturbation was unturned in trying to achieve this. And I couldn’t do it. Relaxing at the point of climax didn’t help, intensity didn’t seem to make a difference, and g-spot stimulation (which I canand do climax from, lucky me!) didn’t make any appreciable difference. I shared the results of my catastrophic failure with my girlfriend, and she assured me it was for the best that I didn’t teach myself a trick she didn’t want me learning.
I mean, it's not water sports...google water sports if you don't know what that is.
             So, to the answer for our dear friend, Ms. Gusher…
            Depending on who you ask, what you did was a beautiful, sexy thing or a gross deal-breaker with a lot of gray area in between. From the sound of it, this isn’t an all-the-time sort of thing for you. From my own experimentation (and the abundance of how-to articles/videos/guides on the internet), it doesn’t seem easy to do. It also might need to be something your girlfriend gets the fuck over too. Bodily functions happen during sex. Once you get out of the honeymoon phase of the first six months of your relationship, you’ll probably fart, burp, and pee in front of your girlfriend on at least a weekly basis; some parts of relationship intimacy are gross, but you get over it because it’s just biology and part of doing business as a human being. Part of your girlfriend doing business with your business parts, might mean occasionally having to take a splatter on the face or hand. Come on, straight girls apparently do it all the time and the stuff they’re getting shot with has swimming things in it…I’m getting gayer just thinking about it. If she can’t get comfortable with the fact that sometimes you spurt a little bit, and the studies did show it’s not significantly more than average male ejaculate volumes no matter what internet porn says (I had to watch unspeakable things to research this article), then maybe she should go out and find herself a nice sandbox to play in. There are people out there who are into it, and if this is a deal-breaker for her, you’re probably better off finding one of the ladies who loves it and try spurting in their general direction.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Question of Age and Dating

Can I have the coffee too?
I'm going to field another relationship advice question I received lately that I thought was interesting:

"My age always seems to be an issue and I can't help that I like older women.  My current problem I have met a very interesting woman and I find myself very interested in her both physically and mentally.  I am 32 and she is 44, it's not that big of difference to me.  If I had met her in person I would have gone for it, since I met her online she is scared of my age and that I would never leave where I am at to be with her.  Are lesbian women just used to no one making an effort? What happened to taking a chance? I thought everything was going great in our conversations and I have already lost her for those reasons.  Am I wrong to feel like my age should be an issue, I haven't even met her yet and I have already scared her off, I shouldn't have to feel like I need to lie about my age so that the women I am attracted to will give me a chance?"
This is such a strange problem that the breeders seem to have figured out before us. The whole cougar/cub dynamic that straight people are already enjoying doesn't seem to have translated to the lesbian community yet, which really does suck. If you were a straight male, it would not only be okay for you to seek out older women, there would be bars and websites all over the place that would cater to you doing exactly that (does straight male cougar privilege exist?). So let me start with the last part of your question first:  there is nothing wrong with you liking cougars and your age absolutely shouldn't be an issue.
This is so mainstream it has made its way to mainstream porn
From the other woman's point of view, I really don't follow her thinking. When I get older, if I'm not still with my current girlfriend and I sincerely hope I am, I'd be thrilled if I had younger women chasing me around; yep, I'm shallow enough to know that would help my self-esteem a great deal. What I think has happened here is you're ahead of the dating curve and now you'll have to wait for the rest of the lesbian community to catch up to you.

Here's how you deal with the current woman problem and future women problem should this arise again. You need to flatter the age difference until she feels as special as straight cubs make straight cougars feel. Don't participate in her dynamic of the age difference being a problem, set your own paradigm by saying how hot and awesome it is that you have this age difference. Straight cougars view their cougar status as a badge of honor--they are attractive and sexual when society has told them women should stop being attractive and sexual. You need to do your best to convince this special lady, and any future special lesbian cougars, to adopt this mentality:  she is so sexy at 44 that younger women can and should flock to her.

Should things not work with this particular lady, I would recommend you frame all future cougar hunting relationships in the same positive light before they can ever get down on themselves about their age. Explain how hot you think it is, how much you enjoy their rejection of the patriarchal societal norms that say they should vanish from sight by remaining sexually interested/interesting, and how big of a fan you are of strong cougars. There's something very sexy about older women (btw I was something of a cougar hunter myself at the very young age of 18) when you consider their life experience, their classiness, and their worldliness. Flatter her with these points, and if you need help, seek out straight male cubs for advice on how to pursue cougars; they have resources galore when it comes to cougar hunting since they've been doing it for so much longer.
This is literally old news (and kind of dopey news on the left here) in the straight community
I don't think it's a matter of lesbians not making an effort; I think it's a matter of the lesbian community lagging behind the straight community in certain dating acceptance norms.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dating Advice and Updates

Bette and Tina of the past?

I realize I've been missing awhile. Apparently finishing my degree, finishing all the edits on my first novel, and moving across country was all a lot of work. I am now graduated with the expectation of my degree being mailed to my parents' address, still working on the edits of the book, and I'm comfortably in a hotel in Orlando. There was just something unappealing about signing a year long lease on an apartment sight unseen, so we drove all the way here and now we'll start apartment hunting from the comfort of a motel room. I'm going to need to change my website banner at some point to reflect my status as no longer living in Huntington Beach.

Relationship advice is something I've been dabbling in since sex advice isn't as reliable of work. As it turns out, I'm actually pretty good at it. Apparently being successfully monogamous for several years can really make you something of an expert on monogamy. Or, at least, that's what I keep telling myself...

My question involves defining "average" body type in on-line dating. Can you help define it for me? I am overweight, but I have been losing weight. At what point will I be "average"? I am interested in a profile that has average body type listed under attractions. I read conflicting articles on-line that define average as a size 12, or 14, or even a 16 being the average size for a woman in the United States. What are the measurements? (waist and hip) Thanks. I just want to be honest in how I describe myself.”

Average in the USA

Dear Average:
I realize this isn’t a sex advice question and is more relationship/general info about the world, but I thought it was an interesting topic and I’ve been behaving so PG lately since I’ve started writing more relationship advice stuff. It seems less like an opportunity for sex advice and more like a chance for social commentary and we all know how much I love social commentary.

Firstly, let me praise you for trying online dating as a lesbian. We’re a teeny tiny portion of the total population (3% last census), and if you use the Seinfeld rules, only 5% of that is dateable. So really, you’re looking at a 0.15% dating pool in your given area. It’s probably why so many lesbians live in the Los Angeles area—0.15% of 10 million is a pretty good number. For everyone else, and even people living in a major metropolitan area, online dating expands your chances to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet, which is key for lesbians. I would also encourage you to expand the radius of your searches online; there are fantastic women all over the place, and you shouldn’t settle simply because of geography.

To address the actual question, I really don’t think it’s as simple as a dress size. Were you hoping I’d just say, “14!” and let you off the hook? I can’t even give a short answer to whether it’s raining or not and I lived most of my life in Southern California—little hope of a short answer to this. You said you’ve searched around for what qualifies as average in the U.S. and that might be a good start if we weren’t such damn liars about everything. There’s this enormous gap between what is literally the average in this country, and then there’s what we perceive the average to be. Our understanding of sizes and averages in this country isn’t so great. One of the jokes my girlfriend and I make all the time is how enormous Marilyn Monroe has become after death. Everyone always says she was a size…(usually one bigger than they currently wear). It turns out she was a size 12, and it turns out the 1950s version of a size 12 is actually closer to a size 8 or even 6 (in vanity size—clothing manufacturers artificially lower sizes on some clothes to makeyou buy them even though that 6 is an 8) in modern sizes. Back in the 1950s, they didn’t have as many sizes as we have now—they didn’t need them. The whole range could be contained by about 20 and the largest sizes weren’t as commonly worn, so a size 12 could describe about average back then when the same woman would be considered fairly small by modern standards. According to the CDC, twenty-something women in 2006 were 30 lbs heavier than the same age range in 1960. As a society, we have gotten a lot bigger (taller too for some reason), but our models and actresses haven’t, they’ve even got a little skinnier.

Can we please stop pretending she wasn't this thin?

And that is precisely the problem. Physically the average in the United States, is fairly large, but that’s not true across the developed world and it’s not true of what we think is average. In reality, you may be well under the national average, which is about a 10-14 taking the national average height of 5’5” and the national average weight of 165 (Marilyn was 5’5” and 140lbs at her very heaviest, also at the national average for 1960, although her acting weight was much closer to 118, putting her at a modern size 6 or 8—see what I mean about the fudging of sizes that goes on with her?). She looks bigger to our modern eyes not because she actually was, but because she isn’t the 5’9” 120lb Heidi Klum we’re used to even though, in reality, Marilyn Monroe, by today’s standards would be 25lbs under the national average. Yes, she was a size 12 by 1960s standards, but a 5'5" 118 lb Marilyn would be positively swimming in a modern size 12.

 Compare Heidi's picture to Marilyn's:
Starting to see what I mean about perception of size being our problem?

All of these CDC reports and vanity sizing and lying about how big Marilyn really was to make ourselves feel better is really pretty irrelevant though because it’s not a matter of what is statistically average, it’s a matter of what you feel is average and more important, what she thinks is average. This is something you’ll run into again and again—other people’s perceptions of your weight are going to be varied, they’re going to be unfair at times, and they’re all completely out of your control, so the best option is to get to the weight you’re happy with and understand people are just going to see you how they see you. There are a few things working in your favor here when it comes to dating other women:  we tend to be cooler about weight issues since we usually have our own body things we’re trying to hide and lesbians do tend to weigh a little more than our straight counterparts so average in the lesbian community isn’t the same number as elsewhere.

If Eddie Izzard can do it, so can you!

 BUT! All of this is negated by something else entirely! Here’s what you do… (I usually do come to an answer after making people listen to me for a long time). You need to take an honest, not cropped, not top down, not hidden beneath baggy clothing, full-body picture of yourself for your dating profile and send it out with pride to the women you’re interested in. Nobody will feel cheated, nobody will feel lied to, and if she’s attracted to you, then congratulations, you’ve hit what she considers “average” weight. This is, of course, easier said than done. Ladies, seriously, we need to stop doctoring our photos online (I do it too by the way). The top down one drives me nuts…you know the one, where you hold the camera over your head, point it down, and give your best sultry eye look up while forced perspective gives you the waist, hips, and feet of a Barbie Doll. Or the waist up crop, where you put on your best pushup bra and cut the picture off just above your navel—boobs for miles, but who knows what else is going on with the rest of you. Then there’s the “duck face” where you purse your lips and suck in your cheeks which gives the impression of cheek bones and full lips where neither actually exists (this is the one I’m guiltiest of).

Take an honest, full-body photo of yourself for your online dating profile, one that will not be a lie or marketing job you have to make up for when you show up for the first date. And let the women you’re interested decide whether or not you’re average based on full disclosure of what you really look like. Now if you’ll excuse me, I should probably go delete all my Facebook pictures where I’m making the duck face…